Neon Skull

Artist Eric Franklin has created some very cool neon skull and skeleton sculptures.  Check it out!


van Eyke ‘Ghent Altarpiece’ in 100 billion pixels

One of the most famous panel paintings in the world, the Ghent Altarpiece has been digitized and is available in detail on an open source website entitled ‘Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece.’

Consisting of 12 panels (one of which is a copy, the original having been stolen in 1934) and depicting numerous complex theological scenes, the documentation project has rendered the already composite work into 100 billion pixels using the highest resolution photography.  Here is a portion of the panel entitled “Deity Enthroned”:

The documentation process makes use of macrophotography in visible light, macrophotography in infrared light, infrared reflectography and X-radiography — probinbeneath the painted surface to reveal the under-drawings. All are available on the website.

Beautiful art and a wonderful contribution by the team that documented and made it available to the world.

The Art of Science

The Art of Science contest at Princeton University aims to show off the startling images produced in the normal course of scientific research.  “Art happens,” says Princeton’s vice-dean of engineering Pablo Debenedetti, in announcing the 2011 winners.  The Art of Science launched in 2005 and has run annually since 2009, giving researchers a greater forum of appreciation for the beauty that lies deep in their work.

The 2011 winner is entitled Chaos and Geomagnetic Reversals, by physicist Christophe Gissinger. It shows a model of geomagnetic reversals, i.e. when the earth’s polarity switches. The image appears as ribbons of bright yellows, reds, pale blues and greens swirled on a black background.

Check out the other entries.  Amazing stuff.

Schrödinger’s Cat Revealed …or not

Here is a thought provoking video on the Shrödinger’s Cat paradox, from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.  According to Wikipedia, Shrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics when applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a cat in a closed box that is either alive or dead, depending on an earlier random event that would have killed it … or not.  But it obviously cannot exist in both states.  And yet, this is how quantum mechanics is used to understand atomic structures.

I never really understood the paradox, and am not sure I do even after viewing this video.  The video is very well done, directed by Chris Mullington of the TV Factory.


And for what its worth, there is a new research paper that suggests that the Copenhagen interpretation is wrong.  Who’d a thunk it.

Burning Man Festival 2012

Burning Man is an annual festival where tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City. The festival is dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. Participants depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Here are a couple videos of the 2012 event.

The first is an amazing and amusing 20 minute time-lapsed video of the entire event by film maker James Cole.


Here is a link to the video on youtube

The second is an exhibit of animated rowing skeletons, called “Charon” by Peter Hudson. I have posted the night video, which captures the effect. But it is worth looking at the day video to see how the exhibit is put together and animates the skeletons.

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Motion Picture Universe right here on Earth

Alvernia Studios  in Poland looks like it belongs on the moon.  I mean that as a compliment.  As you can see in the banner below, there are a number of domes connected by tubes.  Each of the domes offers a different function, all related to motion picture and sound design.

The studio website is funky.  If you didn’t know what this place was, the website does not make it obvious.  Check out some of the photos of the scoring studio.  Unbelievably cool … not to mention BIG.  The virtual tour is also worth the small bit of effort.  Who’d-a thunk such a facility was available for mere mortals and earthlings.

The most complicated steering wheel on earth

Here is a photo of the steering wheel of the McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 formula 1 race car. The steering wheel alone costs $50k.

You can read more about what the steering wheel is attached to here.  Drivers complain that these steering wheels force them to “play piano” while racing.  I wonder if texting and driving is ok during the race?